Holiday flights could be disrupted by strikes

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Holiday flights could be disrupted by strikes if British Airways carries out its plan to dismantle central pay bargaining. Up to 1,500 BA employees are expected to lobby the company's annual meeting today in an attempt to persuade the management to drop the plans.

If BA refuses to make concessions, the Transport and General Workers' Union - which covers all staff apart from pilots and professional engineers - is expected to call a ballot on industrial action later today. George Ryde, a senior TGWU official, said the union hoped to persuade the company to change course through argument rather than strike action, but his members were determined to defend the existing bargaining system.

Mr Ryde said TGWU members at the airline were concerned that the break- up of central negotiations was a means of driving down pay. He pointed out that BA had made a pounds 618m operating profit last year.